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. Yellow River Turns Red In Northwest China

Yellow river, China.
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Oct 23, 2006
A stretch of China's Yellow River has turned red near a major industrial city, with environmental officials suspecting local heating companies of being behind the spill, state press said Monday. A one-kilometer (0.62 miles) section of the river in Lanzhou city, in northwest China's Gansu province, began turning red on Sunday afternoon, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The officials suspect that heating companies were dying the water red in their boilers before discharging it to warn people not to use it, the report said.

Local environmental officials were testing samples of the water to find if the discharge was detrimental to the water quality of the river, it said.

The discharge comes as northern China braces for the winter and public heating systems prepare to go on-line.

Local Lanzhou officials were not immediately available to comment on the spill.

The spill is the latest in a seemingly endless series of reports about China's worsening water situation.

More than 70 percent of rivers and lakes are polluted, while underground water supplies in 90 percent of Chinese cities are contaminated, previous reports have said.

A recent report by the United Nation's Environmental Program declared the estuaries of the Yellow and Yangtze rivers "dead zones" due to the amounts of pollutants they discharge into the sea.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up

Estuaries Of China's Greatest Rivers Declared "Dead Zones"
Beijing (AFP) Oct 20, 2006
The estuaries of China's two greatest rivers, the Yangtze and the Yellow, have been declared dead zones by the United Nations due to high amounts of pollutants, state press said Friday. "Experts warn that these areas are fast becoming major threats to fish stocks and to people who depend upon fisheries for food and livelihoods," the China Daily reported, citing a recent study by the UN Environmental Program.

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